Visiting Holiday World in 2023: A Complete Guide

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Hidden in Southeastern Indiana, close to the Kentucky border, lies one of the most unique amusement parks in America — Holiday World. Located in Santa Clause, Indiana, the park is a regional gem and favorite among amusement park enthusiasts. While it doesn’t boast some of the bigger roller coasters found at other amusement parks, it holds its own with family-friendly attractions and many unique offerings.

Keep reading our complete guide to Holiday World to help you plan your next family adventure this summer.

What is Holiday World?

Holiday World is an amusement park located in Santa Claus, Indiana. The amusement park originally opened in 1946 as Santa Claus Land. The park’s name was later changed to Holiday World in 1984. A water park named Splashin’ Safari was later added in 1993.


Holiday World Updates for 2023

Holiday World has announced a few updates for the 2023 season.

Cashless System: In 2023, Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari are going cashless. Several amusement parks have begun employing a cashless system, and now you can add Holiday World to the mix. Guests can no longer use cash within the park to pay for purchases. When visiting the park, you can use the following payment methods: 

  • Discover
  • Master Card
  • Visa
  • HoliCash
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

If you prefer to use cash, you can use one of the cash-to-card kiosks located around the park to load money onto a ReadyCARD, which is a prepaid card that can be used anywhere within the park and outside the park wherever credit cards are accepted. Guests can load up to $500 per kiosk transaction. There’s no fee to create or use the prepaid card, but after 92 days of inactivity, readyCARD charges a $3.95 monthly inactivity fee.

Drone Show: Holiday World announced that its popular Holiday in the Sky” drone and fireworks show will return during the 2023 season. The show will feature 400 drones (100 more than in 2022). The new drone show will run nightly from June 17th to July 30th and again on October 29th. 

New Pre-K Pass: For the first time ever, Holiday World will offer free Pre-K season passes for four and five-year-old children visiting the amusement park. Parents and guardians must provide documentation to confirm birthdates for the pass. Children ages three and younger get in free at Holiday World. Pre-K season passes are good for the entire season and during Kids World and Happy Halloween Weekends. Passes are only available online, not in person. Holiday World will process age confirmation documents on your first visit to the park.

2023 Pre-K Season Passes will be available until September 4, 2023. 


Your Complete Guide to Visiting Holiday World in 2023

Holiday World might be smaller than other Midwestern amusement parks like Cedar Point and Kings Island. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer value, especially for families looking for affordable entertainment options.

Our Holiday World review below contains helpful information about visiting the amusement park, including ride information, dining, entertainment, shopping, tickets, and much more. We tried to fit in as much information as possible but probably missed a few details. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments, and we will try to answer them. Here is your complete guide to visiting Holiday World in 2023.

Holiday World Opening Day 2023

Holiday World is set to open to the public on May 6th, 2023. Splashin’ Safari Water Park opens on May 20th, 2023.

Holiday World Rides

Holiday World is home to several thrill rides, including a handful of roller coasters and several family-friendly attractions. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or you prefer less aggressive rides, Holiday World has something for everyone. Here’s a look at some of Holiday World’s most popular rides.

Holiday World Roller Coasters

  • Thunderbird: One of the park’s most popular rides, Thunderbird is the only launched wing coaster in the country.
  • Howler: A smaller, kid-friendly rollercoaster.
  • The Legend: A wooden roller coaster based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
  • The Raven: Another wood roller coaster, Raven takes riders along Lake Rudolph and features a 120-foot tunnel.
  • The Voyage: This wooden roller coaster was voted the top wooden roller coaster in the country by Time magazine in 2013. It’s also one of the nation’s longest roller coasters at 1.2 miles long.

Other Notable Holiday World Rides

Besides roller coasters, Holiday World is home to several other rides worth checking out.

  • Crow’s Nest
  • Doggone Trail
  • Eagles Flight
  • Firecracker
  • Frightful Falls
  • Gobbler Getaway
  • HallowSwings
  • Holidog Express
  • Kitty’s Tea Party
  • Lewis & Clark Trail
  • Liberty Launch
  • Mayflower
  • Raging Rapids
  • Reindeer Games
  • Revolution
  • Rough Riders
  • Scarecrow Scrambler
  • Star Spangled Carousel
  • Turkey Whirl

Splashin’ Safari rides

A visit to Holiday World isn’t complete without cooling off at Splashin’ Safari, the attached water park. Splashin’ Safari is home to several award-winning waterslides and other notable water attractions, including:

  • Bahari River
  • Bahari Wave Pool
  • Bakuli
  • Cheetah Chase Water Coaster
  • Jungle Racer
  • Kima Bay
  • Mammoth Water Coaster
  • Otorongo
  • Safari Sam’s SplashLand
  • Tembo Falls
  • Tembo Tides
  • The Wave
  • Watubee
  • Wildebeest Water Coaster
  • Zinga
  • ZOOMbabwe

Holiday World Ride Restrictions

Like most amusement parks, Holiday World has ride policies and restrictions in place to protect all of its guests, including height, weight, health, and other restrictions. Always familiarize yourself with park restrictions before visiting.

Accessibility at Holiday World

Holiday World offers several services for everyone who visits the park, including guests with disabilities. Refer to the park’s website for detailed information on park accessibility, including:

  • A Calming Room
  • Casts and braces
  • First Aid
  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • Safety Restraints
  • Service Animals
  • Boarding Pass program
  • Wheelchairs

Be sure to stop by guest relations at the front of the park upon arrival to get assistance, ask questions, and receive a guide to help you during your visit.


Dining at Holiday World

Holiday World also offers several dining options for park guests, including allergen-free and gluten-free options.

Holiday World Restaurants

Amusement parks aren’t necessarily known for their food quality. That said, Holiday World offers plenty of options to fit almost everyone’s wants and needs:

  • Alamo
  • Bahari Snacks
  • Candy Cane Confectionary
  • Christmas Cupboard
  • Dippin’ Dots
  • Dippin’ Dots Sundae Shop
  • Funnel Cake Factory
  • George’s Gluten-Free Pizza
  • Goblin Burgers
  • Hot Diggity Dogs
  • ICEE Mix It Up
  • Jungle Jake’s
  • Lemon Shake-Up
  • Plymouth Rock Café
  • Polar Expresso
  • Pretzel Carts
  • Safari Ice Cream
  • Safari Pizza
  • Sam’s BBQ
  • Santa’s Merry Marketplace
  • Shaved Ice & Smoothies
  • Sugarplum Scoop Shoppe
  • Sweet Stuff
  • The SnackHouse
  • Udderly Blue Ice Cream
  • Wildebeestro

Can You Bring Food Into Holiday World?

Holiday World doesn’t allow most outside food into the park. Exceptions to the rule include:

  • Baby food, formula, and small snacks
  • Sealed non-alcoholic beverages in plastic containers (no glass bottles or aluminum cans)
  • Medically required foods for special dietary needs
  • Soft-sided coolers (no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep)

Bags, backpacks, and other items are inspected at a security checkpoint before entering the park. There are picnic pavilions located around the parking areas for guests to use.

Entertainment at Holiday World

Holiday World offers several unique entertainment options, including live shows. One of the most popular offerings is the Holidays in the Sky Drone & Fireworks Spectacular. There’s also a diving show and live singing and dancing with Holidog & Friends. Check the park site for times and dates for all shows.

Holiday World Events

Holiday World hosts several special events during the season. While dates aren’t set yet, here’s a look at some of the events scheduled for the 2023 season:

  • HoliWood Nights: TBD
  • Kids World: TBD
  • Happy Halloween Weekends: TBD

Shopping at Holiday World

There are a few shops located around the park where guests can purchase various souvenirs. You’ll find plenty of trinkets and apparel to celebrate your visit to Holiday World. 

Holiday World Park Hours

Holiday World hours vary throughout the season. The amusement park typically opens at 9 AM or 10 AM and closes anywhere from 4 PM to 7 PM, depending on the day. Splashin’ Safari opens daily at 11 AM and closes anywhere from 3 PM to 6 PM, depending on the day. 

How to Buy Holiday World Tickets

You can buy Holiday World tickets directly from the park online or in person.

The park offers a few different ticket options for individuals and families. Below is the online pricing for Holiday World ticket options available in 2023. Prices do not include taxes and fees.

  • Anyday Ticket: $62.99
  • Two-Day Flex Ticket: $84.99
  • Three-Day Flex Ticket: $99.99
  • Military Ticket: $29.99; Two-Day Flex $74.99; Three-Day Flex $89.99
  • First Responder Ticket: $34.99; Two-Day Flex $79.99; Three-Day Flex $94.99
  • Nurse Ticket: $34.99; Two-Day Flex $79.99; Three-Day Flex $94.99

Holiday World Season Passes

Another way to save money, especially if you plan on visiting Holiday World multiple times during the season, is to purchase season passes.  Here is the current pricing for Holiday World season passes.

  • Summer Fun Card: $130 – Admission Sunday to Friday through Labor Day, locker rental discount, and Season Passholder preview day (May 7)
  • Season Pass: $165 – Admission all season and for Halloween Weekends and Season Passholder preview day (May 7) plus locker, food, and store discounts
  • Platinum Season Pass: $200 – Includes everything available with a Season Pass, but also includes Platinum Passholder preview day (May 6), larger discounts and monthly $1 food specials. 

Holiday World Add-On Passes

You can also upgrade your tickets by purchasing one of Holiday World’s extra add-ons.

  • All Day Digital Photo Pass: $24.99 – Get unlimited digital ride and park photos during your visit. 
  • All Season Digital Photo Pass: $34.99 – Unlimited digital ride and park photos for the entire season. 
  • 2023 Games Playbook: $20 – Included $25 in Game Bucks and game coupons, and a one-time single-use Quick Access pass. 

Renting Lockers at Holiday World

Lockers are available to rent within Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari. The majority of the lockers, including all large-size lockers, are found in Splashin’ Safari.

How to Get to Holiday World

Holiday World is located at 452 E. Christmas Blvd., Santa Claus, Indiana 47579.

Parking at Holiday World

There’s no charge to park at Holiday World, unlike most amusement parks. Parking is free at Holiday World every day.

Where to Stay At Holiday World

Holiday World doesn’t offer any lodging, but several options are available with Santa Claus and the surrounding area.

One of the best options available in Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort. Not only is it located next to the park, but there’s also a free shuttle to the amusement park for campers. Other lodging options include:

  • Baymont by Wyndham Dale
  • Big Splash Adventure
  • Comfort Inn Jasper
  • Comfort Inn Ferdinand
  • Hampton Inn Jasper
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jasper
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tell City
  • Lincoln Pines Lakefront Resort
  • Motel 6 Dale
  • Quality Inn & Suites Ferdinand
  • Quality Inn & Suites Rockport
  • Ramada Limited Tell City
  • Santa’s Lakeside Cottages
  • Santa’s Lodge
  • Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph
  • Super 8 by Wyndham Jasper

Free Items at Holiday World

Free isn’t something you would expect at an amusement park, but it’s a core component of Holiday World’s philosophy. Among the items you can find available at the park for free are:

  • Free soft drinks (including Gatorade, lemonade, iced tea, coffee, and water)
  • Free sunscreen
  • Free parking
  • Free package pickup
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Holiday World FAQs

Does Holiday World offer rainchecks?

Holiday World offers a Worry-Free Weather guarantee for qualifying guests who experience inclement weather. If a storm forces the park to close attractions for a total of 90 minutes or longer, you can use your park ticket to return to the park another day during the season. Simply take the ticket to guest relations when you return to the park.

Can I bring food into Holiday World?

Select food items for babies and individuals with special dietary needs are allowed in the park. Sealed non-alcoholic beverages in plastic containers are also allowed.

Does Holiday World have special pricing for non-riders?

There is no discount for non-riders at Holiday World.

Does Holiday World offer discounts for military members?

Yes, Holiday World offers special discounted tickets available for members of the U.S. military. The park also offers discounted tickets for first responders and nurses.

What age gets in free at Holiday World?

Children three and under are free at Holiday World.

Does Holiday World have height restrictions?

There are some height and other restrictions for certain rides at Holiday World. Check the park’s website before visiting for specific guidelines.

Can I rent a locker at Holiday World?

Lockers are available to rent (for a small fee) in various areas of the park and water park to store your belongings safely. Large-sized lockers are only available inside Splashin’ Safari.

Can I rent a wheelchair at Holiday World?

Wheelchairs and scooters are available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis at St. Nick’s Rentals, located just inside the front gate.

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Are Cedar Point Season Passes Worth It? 

Summer Fun at Cedar Point Shores Waterpark

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What is your favorite part Holiday World ride? Do you have any tips on visiting Holiday World? Let us know in the comments below.


Visiting Holiday World in 2023: A Complete Guide

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